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New report examines Critical Race Theory and whether it’s an issue in Mississippi

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 12:41 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Critical race theory is a term that’s been fueled by political debate in recent months. The Mississippi Center for Public Policy’s newly released report focuses squarely on critical race theory. We asked for their definition of it.

“Critical race theory is saying that actually, we should judge people, not on their character, but on the color of their skin,” said President and CEO Douglas Carswell. “It’s a deeply divisive, and I would argue very, very dangerous ideology.”

The report points to specific courses at some of the state’s universities and says it’s harder to pinpoint in K-12 schools but believe some of the professional development resources promote the ideology.

“We’ve got to be honest about America’s failings in the past,” added Carswell. “But we mustn’t use history as a stick to beat and delegitimize the United States. The United States story is an inspirational story.”

We reached out to the Mississippi Department of Education for comment. A spokesperson said, “Critical Race Theory is not part of the Mississippi College and Career Readiness Standards. These standards outline the skills and knowledge expected of students from grade to grade and subject to subject.”

There were three resolutions filed at the legislature last year. None of them were passed out of committee. But a couple of months later, both Governor Tate Reeves and Speaker Philip Gunn made Critical Race Theory a centerpiece of their Neshoba County Fair speeches.

“Socialists seek to turn Americans against each other and it gets this country by introducing critical race theory into our schools. we need to find ways to bring people together, not tear them apart,” said Speaker Philip Gunn.

Jackson State University Dr. D’Andra Orey argues it’s not a theory but history.

“You’re telling me that you don’t want us to teach the facts,” added Orey, “I mean, if the facts are that this country was founded on white supremacy, which simply is the notion that whites were superior to blacks, and therefore they enslaved them, the worst thing you can do to a person is enslave them. And so that is a precise definition of white supremacy. And to not discuss white supremacy, does a disservice to the students and our students, but to this country as a whole.”

To read the full report by Mississippi Public Policy Center, click HERE.

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